From education to employment

CBI Westminster update

Prior to summer recess, the CBI has had strong stakeholder engagement

Last week, CBI Director-General, Carolyn Fairbairn, met with the Department of Trade’s Permanent Secretary, Antonia Romeo, to discuss taking forward the policy recommendations detailed in CBI’s recent report Winning worldwide. The publication provides a four-step exports growth plan for the UK following extensive engagement with businesses in every region and nation of the country. The report outlines practical recommendations for government, including the need to tie trade policy to the Industrial Strategy, put people at the heart of trade policy and build on the strengths of ‘Brand Britain’. The CBI continues to work closely with DIT ahead of the government’s upcoming Export Strategy.

Also last week, CBI Senior Policy Adviser in the Tax and Fiscal team, Fiona Geskes, met with HM Treasury to discuss the upcoming Autumn Budget. During the meeting it was confirmed that with the Spending Review around the corner in 2019, this year’s Autumn Budget will be predominately focussed on tax, with significant spending announcements being deferred to next year. In the coming weeks, the CBI will be working on its Budget submission..

Elsewhere, CBI Wales Chair, Mike Plaut, and Wales Director, Ian Price, met Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the European Union, Robin Walker. During this positive meeting, Mike and Ian highlighted business reaction to the White Paper as a pragmatic step forward in laying out the UK’s vision for the Future Economic Partnership. Further to this, they emphasised the urgency of concluding the Withdrawal Agreement and securing transitional arrangements as well as the importance of making progress on the withdrawal agreement, maintaining the UK internal market and delivering a UK Prosperity Fund that drives private sector growth.

Finally, CBI members and civil servants from across government including the Department for Trade, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as well as the Department for Exiting the EU, convened to discuss the future of data policy. The focus of the discussion was UK-EU data partnership, where the latest in adequacy negotiations and no-deal scenario planning were the key items addressed. How the UK should strategically approach the developing e-Privacy regulation and data in trade deals were also debated.


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